Seiko are gearing up to celebrate the 110th anniversary of their first ever wristwatch in 2023. The celebration takes the form of a modern re-creation of their Laurel wristwatch originally produced in 1913. The new piece is called the Seiko Presage Takumi ‘Laurel’ 110th Anniversary Edition and it features a case, dial and strap almost identical to the original.
When wristwatches were first being developed, the initial challenge was to produce pieces small enough to wear on the wrist compared to the large proportions of pocket watches. Being small was a novelty back then, which is why vintage watches are known for their tiny sizes relative to modern watches.
The original Laurel was just 37.5mm in diameter, a size matched by the modern re-creation. The Anniversary Edition is produced in stainless steel case with 50m water resistance, as opposed to the original in silver.
Another structural element that pays homage to the first Laurel is the shape of the lugs. They’re very slim and lead into a deep leather strap that almost has a cuff-like appearance, similar to that of the Alpinist Re-Creation from last year. The dark brown of the leather provides a strong contrast to the white dial.
As for the dial, it’s made from enamel handcrafted by master artisan Mr Yokosawa, who has over 40 years of experience with the material and oversees every enamel dial from Seiko. The dial also features numerals in the same typeface and colours as the original. The red numeral at 12 o’clock was a signature feature of the 1913 timepiece. In addition to the peripheral hour and minute scales, the dial also features a date subdial at 6 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 9.
Housed inside is an entirely modern calibre, as expected from a modern re-creation. It’s the 6R27, an automatic movement with a 45-hour power reserve and an accuracy of -15/+25 seconds per day. Those are not the most impressive specs from Seiko but they’re perfectly fine, especially considering the additional functions of the date subdial and power reserve indicator.
The Seiko Presage Takumi ‘Laurel’ 110th Anniversary Edition is a worthy celebration of its vintage counterpart. While there are certainly other Seiko’s that I prefer, I can admire the excellent craftsmanship of the enamel dial and precision of its vintage case.
The pricing and availability seem appropriate too, limited to 2,500 pieces at £1,600. It’s available for pre-order now with delivery starting in 2023, because that’s when the actual anniversary begins.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Seiko Presage Takumi ‘Laurel’ 110th Anniversary Edition
- Ref: SPB359J1
- Case/dial: 37.5mm diameter x 12.6mm thickness, stainless steel case, white enamel dial by Mitsuru Yokosawa
- Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
- Movement: Seiko calibre 6R27, automatic
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 45h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, power reserve indicator
- Strap: Dark brown leather with stainless steel pin buckle
- Price/availability: £1,600, limited edition of 2,500 pieces, available from January at Seiko boutiques.
More details at Seiko Boutique.